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Bar Ha?^bor 




The North Shore. By Robert 
With Illustrations by W, T. Smed- 

Newport. By W. C. Brovvnell. 
With Illustrations by W. S. Van- 
DERBiLT Allen. 

Bar Harbor. By F. Marion Craw- 
With Illustrations by C. S. Rein- 

Lenox. By George A. Hibbard. 

With Illustrations by W. S. Van- 
derbilt Allen. 

■5^„ "^ Each i2mo. Cloth. Price, 75 cents 

i'\ A i 













Cofy right, /Sg4, iSgd, by 

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Canoeing .... 


The Landing Stage 


On the Corniche Road 

• 13 

A Yachting Party . 

. /p 

Chmhing Newport Alountain 

• ^7 

A Buckhoard Party 

• 35 

Anemone Cave 

• 43 

Cottage Life — A Luncheon Party 

• 47 

Eagle Lake .... 

• jf 

''Landed'' .... 

• 37 



THE first impression made by Bar 
Harbor at the height of its season 
upon the mind of one fresh from a more 
staid and crystaUized civihzation is that it 
is passing through a period of transition, 
in which there is some of the awkward- 
ness which we associate with rapid growth, 
and something also of the youthful fresh- 

B^r ness which gives that very awkwardness 
a charm. The name of Mount Desert 
suggests, perhaps, a grim and forbidding 
chfF, frowning upon the pale waves of a 
melancholy ocean. Instead, the traveller 
who crosses the bay in the level light of an 
August afternoon looks upon the soft, 
rolling outline of wooded hills, on the 
highest of which a little hotel breaks the 
sky-line, upon a shore along which villas 
and cottages stretch on either side of a 
toy wooden village, which looks as though 
it were to be put away in a box at night, 
and upon the surrounding sea, an almost 
land-locked inlet, in which other islands, 
like satellites of Mount Desert, are scat- 
tered here and there. 

As the little steamer draws up to her 
moorings the groups of people waiting 
on the pier stand out distinctly, and the 
usual types detach themselves one by one. 
The clusters of hotel-runners and express- 
men are lounging listlessly until they shall 
be roused to clamorous activity by the 
landing of the first passenger ; in knots 

aiul j^airs, those sercncK" idle people of all ^^^ 
ages, who, in all places and seasons, seem 
to find an ev^er-new amusement in watch- 
ing the arrival of trains or boats, are as 
deeply interested as usual ; the inevitable 
big and solemn dog, of nondescript breed 
and eclectic affections, is stalking about 
with an air of responsibility. 

And yet the little crowd is not quite 
like other gatherings on other piers. Girls 
in smart cotton trocks are sitting in shin- 
ing Httle village carts, with grooms at 
their horses' sleek heads, wedged in be- 
tween empty buck-boards that look like 
paralyzed centipedes, the drivers of which 
wear clothes ranging from the livery of 
the large stables to the weather-bleached 
coat of the " native" from Cherryfield or 
Ellsworth, who has brought over his horse 
to take his share of the " rusticator's " 
ready money during the short season. 
There are no hotel omnibuses, no covered 
traps of any kind, as becomes a holiday 
place where winter and roui^h weather are 
enemies not meant to be reckoned with ; 


B'if everybody seems either to know every- 
one else, or not to care if he does not, and 
there is an air of cheerful informality about 
the whole scene which immediately makes 
one feel welcome and at home. 

In order not to be behind every self- 
respecting town throughout the Western 
world Bar Harbor has a Main Street, 
which plunges violently down a steep place 
toward the pier, and which is beautified 
for a short distance by a mushroom growth 
of tents and shanties, the summer home 
of the almond-eyed laundryman, the itin- 
erant photographer with a specialty of 
tintypes, and the seller of weary-looking 
fruit, of sandwiches that have seen better 
days, and temperance drinks of gorgeous 
hues. Plymouth Rock also vaunts its 
" pants," and young ladies are recom- 
mended to grow up with Castoria. 

Then come the more necessary shops — 
the tinsmith's, at whose door a large bull- 
terrier benevolently grins all day ; the 
tailor's, where one may study the fashions 
of New York filtered through Bangor ; 


the china shop, where bright-colored himp- 
shades spread themselves like great butter- 
flies in the window, and the establishment 
of Mr. Bee, the locally famous and indis- 
pensable provider of summer literature, 
and of appropriate alleviations for the 
same, in the shape of caramels, cigarettes, 
and chewing-gum. Directly opposite 
stands a huge hotel, apparently closed or 
almost deserted, but evidently built in the 
years when the gnawing tooth of the na- 
tional jig-saw grievously tormented all man- 
ner of wood-work, a melancholy relic of an 
earlier time when, as " Rodick's," it was 
almost another name for Bar Harbor itself. 
No lover of Bar Harbor has been found 
bold enough to say that Main Street is 
pretty ; and yet, between ten and twelve 
o'clock on a summer's morning, it has 
a character, if not a beauty, of its own. 
Alongside of the "board walk," which takes 
the place of a pavement, the buckboards 
are drawn up, waiting to be hired ; in some 
of them, often drawn by four horses, are 
parties of people, consisting; usually ot more 



Ba'- women than men, as is becoming in New 
England, already starting upon one of the 
longer expeditions, and only stopping to 
collect a stray member or to lay in a stock 
of fruit and sugar-plumbs. Farmers' carts, 
with closed hoods like Shaker sunbonnets, 
are on their rounds from one cottage to 
another, meandering through the crowd, 
and driven with exasperating calmness by 
people who sit far back in their little tun- 
nels, and cannot possibly see on either side 
of them to get out of anyone else's way. 
Then there are all sorts of light private 
traps, usually driven by women or girls 
bound on household errands or visits, and 
psychologically unbalanced between their 
desire to speak to the friends who meet 
them on foot, and their anxiety lest they 
should be forced to recognize the particu- 
lar acquaintance on whom they are just 
going to call. 

Along the board walk there is a row of 

little shops, some of them scarcely larger 

than booths, the proprietors of which 

perch like birds of passage, pluming them- 





-I' ~'^. _ 



selves in the sunshine of the brief season, J^^' 
and taking flight again before the autumn 
gales. In one window a lot of Turkish 
finery looks curiously exotic, especially 
the little slippers, gay with tassels and 
embroidery, turning up their pointed toes 
as if scorning the stouter footgear which 
tramps along outside. Another shop is 
bright with the crude colors of Spanish 
scarfs and pottery ; in another, Japanese 
wares manage to keep their faint smell of 
the East in spite of the salt northern air, 
and farther on you may wonder at the 
misplaced ingenuity of Florida shell jew- 
elry, and be fascinated by the rakish leer 
of the varnished alligator. 

By one of the contrasts which make 
Bar Harbor peculiarly attractive, next 
door to these cosmopolitan shops there 
still thrives one of the indigenous general 
stores, where salt fish are sold, and house- 
hold furniture and crockery, and the candy 
peculiar to New England stores and New 
York peanut stands, which keeps through 
all vicissitudes a vague odor of sawdust, 



Bar and where you may also buy, as was once 
advertised by the ingenuous dealer, "baby 
carriages, butter, and paint." 

Should you wish to give a message to a 
friend without the trouble of writing a 
note, the chances are more than even that 
you will find him or her any morning on 
the board-walk, or in the neighborhood of 
the post-office, for as there is no delivery 
at Bar Harbor, and as the mails are often 
delayed, there is ample opportunity to 
search for an acquaintance in the waiting 
crowd. Here also congregate the grooms 
in undress livery, with leather mail-bags 
slung under one arm, who have ridden in 
from the outlying cottages, and who walk 
their horses up and down, or exchange 
stable notes with their acquaintances ; sail- 
ors from private yachts, usually big, fair 
Scandinavians ; mail orderlies from any 
men-of-war which may happen to be in 
port ; boys and girls who do not find the 
waiting long, and all that mysterious tribe 
of people who look as if they could not 
possibly receive a dozen letters a year, and 


yet who arc always assiduously looking 
out for them. As usual, the post-office is 
a loadstone for all the dogs in the village, 
and as there are many strangers among 
them, of all breeds and ages and tempers, 
walking round and round one another with 
stiff legs and bristling backs, unregenerate 
man is kept in tremulous expectation of a 
dog-fight as free as any in Stamboul. But 
somehow the fight rarely comes off, though 
the resident canine population has become 
fearfully and wonderfully mixed, through 
the outsiders who have loved and ridden 
away. One nondescript, especially, is not 
soon forgotten, a nightmare cross of a 
creature in which the curly locks and 
feathery tail of the spaniel are violently 
modified by the characteristic pointed 
breastbone and bandy legs of a dachs- 

Wandering through the streets of the 
little village one is struck again and again 
by the sharp contrast between what may 
be called the natural life of the place and 
the artificial condition which fashion has 


B^"- imposed upon it. In some of the streets 
almost every house is evidently meant to 
be rented, the owners usually retiring to 
restricted quarters at the back, where they 
stow themselves away and hang themselves 
up on pegs until they may come into their 
own again. Here and there a native cot- 
tage has been bought and altered by a 
summer resident, and over the whole there 
is the peculiarly smug expression of a 
quarter which is accustomed to put its best 
foot foremost for a few months of the 
year. But in the back lanes and side- 
streets there are still the conditions of the 
small New England community, in which 
land is poor and work is slack during the 
long winter, so that although there is no 
abject poverty in the sense in which it is 
known to cities, there is also little time or 
inclination for the mere prettiness of life. 

An element of the picturesque is sup- 
plied by an Indian camp, which used for 
years to be pitched in a marshy field 
known as Squaw Hollow ; but with the 
advent of a Village Improvement Society 

On the 




certain ncwfanu^lcd and disturhinir ideas as Bar 

, . • 1-11 • Ucirhor 

to sanitary conditions obtained a nearinir, 
and the Indians were banished to a back 
road out of the way of sensitive eyes and 
noses. Thev claim to be of the Passama- 
quoddy tribe, speak their own language, 
and follow the peaceful trades of basket- 
weaving and moccasin-making, and the 
building of birch-bark canoes. Their lit- 
tle dwellings — some of them tents, some 
of them shanties covered with tar-paper 
and strips of bark — are scattered about, 
and in the shadow of one of them sits a 
lady of enormous girth, who calls herself 
their queen, and who wears, perhaps as a 
badge of sovereignty, a huge fur cap even 
in the hottest weather. She is not less 
industrious than other "regular royal" 
queens, for she sells baskets and tells for- 
tunes even more flattering than the fabled 
tale of Hope. Some of the young men 
are fine, swarthv, taciturn creatures, who 
look as though thev knew how to put a 
knife to other uses than whittling the 
frame of a canoe ; but one does not feel 

Ba^ tempted to rush upon Fate for the sake 
of any of the dumpy and greasy-looking 
damsels who will soon become like their 
even dumpier and greasier mothers. 

The whole encampment is pungent with 
the acrid smoke of green wood, and many 
children — round, good-natured balls of fat 
in all shades of yellow and brown — roll 
about in close friendship with queer little 
dogs, in which the absence of breed pro- 
duces a family likeness. It is curious to 
see in the characteristic work of these peo- 
ple the survival of the instinctive taste of 
semi-savage races, and the total lack of it in 
everything else. The designs cut on the 
bark of their canoes, the cunningly blended 
colors in their basket-work, are thoroughly 
good in their way ; but contact with a 
higher civilization seems to have affected 
them as it has the Japanese, turning their 
attention chiefly to making napkin-rings 
and collar-boxes, and to a hideous delight 
in tawdry finery, which is fondly, though 
distantly, modelled on current American 


Bar Harbor drinks the cup of summer Ba 

standing. In mid-April the snow may lie 
six feet deep, and before the end of Octo- 
ber long icicles are often hanging on the 
north side of the rocks, while even in 
August the northern lights shoot up their 
quivering, spectral spears from the hori- 
zon to the zenith. Some fierce days of 
heat there are in July, but on the whole 
the temperature is decidedly arctic, especi- 
ally to one accustomed to a less rigorous 
climate. In New York we are used to 
having the kindly fruits of the earth 
brought to us long before their natural 
season, and it sounds strangely to be told 
at Bar Harbor that the first garden straw- 
berries may be looked for about the fourth 
of July, and that June lilies will bloom 
early in August; but such trifles only give 
one a feeling of chasing the summer, as 
climate-fanciers follow the spring, and are 
certainly not to be reckoned as grievances. 
The people who have a certain very 
slight right to complain are the artists, 
who, haviner heard of the beauties of 



B'^r Mount. Desert, come prepared to carry 
away at least a reminder of them on can- 
vas or paper. They find that they have 
fallen upon a spot almost entirely deficient 
in what painters term " atmosphere," and 
of which the characteristic effects almost 
defy reproduction. In what is known as 
a " real Bar Harbor day" the air is so thin 
and clear that there seem to be no distant 
effects, and objects lose their relative val- 
ues. The sea is of a darker blue than the 
sky, and the rocks are very red or very 
gray, and the birches are of a brighter 
green than the firs, which stand out against 
the sky with edges as sharp as those of the 
tightly curled trees on wooden stands in 
the toy Swiss farm-yards dear to our youth. 
But that is all. Even the clouds seem to 
abjure mystery and take definite outlines ; 
the water is spangled with shining points 
where the light breeze ruffles it, and one 
can see every patch on the sail of the old 
fishing-schooner making her leisurely way 
to her anchorage. Any attempt at a faith- 
ful rendering of such dry brilliancy is apt 



to have a fatal likeness to a chromo-litho- B'"' 
graph, and the artist usually ends by leav- 
ing his paint-box at home, and giving 
himself up to enjoyment of the keen air 
that tingles through his veins like wine. 

The truthful chronicler is forced to ad- 
mit that the climate of Bar Harbor has 
two drawbacks — high wind and fog, one 
usually following the other. Out of a clear 
sky, without a cloud, while the sun grins 
away derisively overhead, a southwest gale 
will often blow a whole day, filling the vil- 
lage streets with stinging dust and the 
whirling disks of vagrant hats, and making 
the little fleet of catboats and launches in 
the harbor duck and strain at their moor- 
ings ; turning venturesome girls who try 
to walk into struggling pillars of strangely 
twisted drapery, and even in the heart of 
the warm woods tearing at the crowded 
trees so that they sigh and creek as they 
rub their weary old limbs against one an- 
other. The second day is gray and cloudy, 
on the third it rains, but sdll the wind 
blows, a nervous wind that makes one 

^ar long to pick a quarrel with one's best 
friend. And then the wind drops as sud- 
denly as it rose, and the next day all dis- 
comfort, past and to come, is forgotten for 
awhile in sheer delight of beauty. For the 
air is still, and the sun shines gently on a 
dull green sea over which little shivers run 
now and then, and far in the offing there 
is the gray line of a fog-bank. Slowly it 
comes in with the southeast wind, stealing 
along the surface of the water, now closing 
softly round an island, then rising from it 
like a wreath of smoke, here piled into a 
fleecy mass, there turned to silver and scat- 
tered by a sunbeam, but coming on and 
on, and creeping up and up, until the trees 
on the Porcupines have their feet in the 
clouds like Wagnerian heroes ; and pres- 
ently they also are hidden, and the whole 
harbor is swathed in a soft cloud, from the 
depths of which come now and then the 
muffled, anxious whistles of the little steam- 
ers which ply about the bay — the Silver 
Star, from Winter Harbor; the Cimbria, 
from Bangor ; and louder and deeper, the 

hoarse note of the Sappho as she feels ^'^ 
her way across with passengers troni the 

When the oldest hihabitant is asked 
how lonn a foo^ may last he will shake his 
head, shift his quid, and decHne to commit 
himself. There is a legend of a young 
man who came in on a yacht some years 
ago, duly prepared to enjoy himself and 
admire the scenery. His skipper groped 
his way to an anchorage in a mist so dense 
that he could not see fifty feet ahead or 
astern ; the luckless young man went about 
for nine mortal days, swathed in a soft, 
smothering blanket ; on the tenth day he 
sailed away, still in a thick fog, and swear- 
In mighty oaths. Even when the fog lies 
over the bay the air may be quite clear in- 
land, and after a drive among the hills it is 
a curious sensation to come back to the 
shore. In the wooded uplands all is 
sunny and cheerful, but when the village 
is reached a cold breath is stealing through 
it as though the door of an ice-house had 
been left open, and on turning down a 

^^'' side-street toward the sea a gray wall of 
mist blots out trees and shore alike. 

To anyone not familiar with it, catboat 
sailing in a thick fog does not suggest itself 
as an amusement. It has a strong attrac- 
tion of its own, however, for the breeze is 
usually steady, and the entire obliteration 
of the familiar landmarks gives an element 
of uncertainty and adventure. The course 
must be steered by the compass, and it is 
necessary to have accurate notes of the 
local bearings. If the harbor is at all 
crowded the little boat feels her way out 
slowly, close-hauled, as carefully as though 
she were alive ; but once in the freer water 
the sheet is started, and she slips forward 
into infinite mystery. Every sense is 
strained to take the place of sight, which 
is baffled and almost useless in the thickly 
pressing veil that now and then grows 
thinner for a moment, only to close in 
again more densely. The sharp lapping of 
the water against the sides of the boat, the 
wash of the rising tide upon some island, 
the shrill scream of a gull overhead, the 

whistle of a launch astern in the harbor — B'"' 
all these make to themselves echoes, and 
by and by the far-off beat of a side-wheel 
steamer throbs with a great palpitation in 
the stillness. Boats which ply for profit 
or sail for pleasure are apt to make noise 
enough in a fog ; but the fishermen giv^e 
themselves less trouble, and slipping along, 
ghost-like, one mav be suddenly aware of 
a larger and darker phantom ahead, to 
which it is wise to give a respectfully wide 
birth, without insisting too much upon the 
privileges of the starboard tack and the 
possible right of way, when the water is 
over-cold for much swimming. There 
does not seem to be any particular reason 
for ever turning back, when one is not 
bound for any visible point, and you may 
dream your dream out before you come 
about and run free for the harbor again. 
The fog is, it anything, thicker than when 
you started, and it is no easy matter to 
find your berth ; but the boat seems to 
" kinder smell her way," as an old sailor 
once remarked in a like case, and at last 

^^'' she bumps gently against her mooring- 

Harbor ■, 


The most beautiful effects of fog at Bar 
Harbor are to be seen from Newport 
Mountain, which is about a thousand feet 
high, and is a mile or two out of the 
village. At first the path leads upward 
among thick woods, through which the 
sunlight falls in yellow patches, and where 
the squirrels chatter angrily from the 
spruce boughs. This part of the way is 
very pretty, though it is apt to be warm, 
and in early summer the black flies make 
succulent meals on the nape of the pil- 
grim's neck. A little farther on, the path 
leads out over broad open stretches of 
granite rock, scratched and furrowed by 
a primeval glacier, with scrubby tufts of 
mountain laurel growing in the stony hol- 
lows, and blueberry bushes holding on for 
dear life everywhere. Oddly enough, it 
is the easiest thing in the world to lose the 
path, although it has been considerately 
marked with a line of small cairns, which, 
however, are set at varying distances 





apart, often as far as a couple of hundred Bar 
feet each from the next, and are built up 
of fragments of the rock itself, so that they 
are hard to distinguish in a failing light. 
To miss the path means wandering aim- 
lessly over the slippery rock-slopes, or 
striking down the hill-side through the 
almost impenetrable underbrush, with the 
further penalty, especially if one happen 
to have a companion of the other sex, of 
being unmercifully jeered at; for to have 
lost one's way on Newport Mountain is 
as well-worn an excuse at Bar Harbor as 
it is, in town, to say that one's cab did not 

Once fairly at the top, and having con- 
scientiously looked at the view all round, 
there is no lack of sheltered corners tor 
smoke and contemplation. On the one 
hand the open sea stretches out, a sheet of 
gray steel, with great patches of speckled 
froth and foam here and there, near the 
shore, like white leopard skins, flung off 
by the grim puritan rocks that will have 
none of such heathenish adorning. On 

Bar the Other hand the mainland stretches its 
cruel, jagged line beyond Schoodie, and 
the lighthouse on Egg Rock stands up 
straight as a sentinel to guard the bay. 
Two or three big men-of-war lying in the 
harbor might be taken for neat models, 
of themselves, and the little craft moving 
about them are like water-beetles, or flit- 
ting white moths. But the sea has changed 
suddenly, and it shivers all over as though 
the cold water could feel yet colder, and 
all at once the fog-bank that has been 
lying so innocently outside begins to un- 
fold itself and steal forward over the sur- 
face. There does not seem to be much 
air above, and the trees on the Porcupines 
are still free. But on the right all is very 
different. Through the deep gorge or 
cleft between Newport and Dry Mountain, 
into which the sun has been beating all 
day, the chilly fog-wind now draws hard, 
and the fleecy cloud pours after it. Noth- 
ing, perhaps, could be less like the stern 
side of Dry Mountain than the gracious 
sweep of Mount Ida, and yet, as one 


looks, the lines of Tennyson's " CEnone " ^'' 
rise to the memory : 

"The swimming vapor slopes athwart the glen, 
Puts forth an arm, and creeps from pine to pine, 
And loiters, slowly drawn." 

But you will do well not to loiter too long 
yourself, for gray cairns are ill to find in a 
gray mist, and you had better gain the 
woods by the time the top of Newport is 
swathed in cloud as though it were a real 
grown-up mountain. 

Mount Desert is lucky in its proper 
names of places, having been discovered as 
a summer resort late enough to escape the 
semi-classical namings of " Baths " and 
" Mirrors " and " Bowers, " which have 
sentimentalized the rocks and pools of the 
White Mountains. A few French words 
still linger as a reminder of the time when 
Louis XIV. gave the original grant to the 
Sieur de la Motte Cadillac ; but most of 
them, like Hull's Cove and Town Hill, 
have an honest colonial American ring, 
while about Pretty Marsh Harbor there is 
a certain echo of romance, and "Junk o' 


Bar Pork " and " Rum Key," two little islands, 
or rather rocks, in the bay, have a very 
nautical, and even piratical, suggestive- 

At the first glance the island, on a map, 
reminds one somewhat of the dejected 
lamb which hangs by his middle in the 
order of the Golden Fleece. The deep 
indentation is Somes's Sound, running far 
inland, with Somesville at its head, a quiet 
New England village, with a white meet- 
ing-house, and many other houses, most 
of them also white, and standing among 
gnarled apple-trees, in a gentle, dozing 
tranquillity from which the place is roused 
when parties drive over from Bar Harbor 
to eat broiled chickens and " pop-overs " at 
the local hotel, and to drive back by moon- 
light — expeditions which are considered to 
have sufficient local color to entitle them 
to notice, without omission of the pop- 
overs, in Baedeker's recent " Guide to the 
United States." 

In the neighborhood of Somesville the 
characteristics of the native population are 

mich more ?ioticeahle than at Bar Harbor, ^^'- 

1 • 1 • 1 1 • liar bo 

only eight miles away, where a watering- 
place has been grafted on a fishing village. 
At some time or other in his life almost 
every islander seems to have followed the 
sea ; the man who drives your buckboard 
may have been more than once to China, 
and it is extremely likely that the farmer 
who brings you your green peas has been 
tossed for manv a week of hours in a crazy 
dory off the deadly Banks, which cost us 
everv year so many lives. In nearly every 
home there is some keepsake from far 
away lands, some tribute from arctic or 
tropic seas, and when at last an old captain 
makes up his mind to stay ashore it is cer- 
tain that there will be something about his 
house to show his former calling — a pair of 
huge whale-ribs on either side of the front 
door, flowers growing in shells that have 
held the murmur of the Indian Ocean, and, 
instead of a cock or banner, a model of 
some sort of boat perched on the barn for 
a weather-vane. That a sailor-man is a 
handy man is true the world over, but the 


Bar Maine man seems to have an especial 
Harbor j^j^^^,]^ ^j^|^ wood, froHi the lumber-camp 
to the cabinetmaker's bench, and many a 
carpenter working by the day will turn out 
a well-finished sideboard or an odd piece 
of artistic furniture from the roughest sort 
of pencil sketch. They are good smiths, 
too, and the best of their wrought-iron 
recalls the breadth and freedom of the early 
German and Italian work. 

Society at Bar Harbor does not now 
differ in any particularly salient manner 
from good society anywhere else, except 
that it is rather more cosmopolitan. When 
the guests at a small dinner or luncheon 
may have come from New York, Phila- 
delphia, Boston, Washington, and Chicago, 
it is impossible that the conversation should 
fall into that jargon of a clique which often 
makes the talk of the most centralized so- 
ciety, like that of Paris or London, seem 
narrow and provincial to the unfortunate 

One amusing survival of the simpler 
early days is the habit of going out in the 




evening in uncox'ered traps. There are a ^'"' 
few private broughams, but it you are din- 
ing out, and happen to reach the house as 
a lady drives up, the chances are that you 
will help her to alight from an open buck- 
board, her smart French frock shrouded 
in a long cloak, and her head more or less 
muffled and protected. One or two of the 
livery-stables have hacks which must have 
been very old when they were brought 
from Bangor, and which now hold together 
almost by a miracle. A year or two ago 
one of them could never be sent out with- 
out two men on the box, not indeed tor 
the sake of lending the turnout any ficti- 
tious splendor, but because one of them 
had to " mind the door," which was 
broken, and could neither be shut nor 
opened by any one inside. If two or 
three entertainments take place on the 
same night there is telephoning loud and 
long for these antediluvian vehicles, as the 
only other alternative is to take a sort ot 
carry-all with leather side-curtains which 
have a treacherous way of blowing open 

Bar and dropping small waterspouts down the 

Harbor i i r » i 

back or one s neck. 

It would be out of place for a mere 
visitor to launch into predictions regarding 
the social future of Bar Harbor. But one 
thing at least seems certain — it can never 
be in any sense a rival to Newport. The 
conditions which make the summer life of 
the latter more brilliant than that of any 
other watering-place in the world, mark it 
also as the playground of a great commer- 
cial metropolis, and a large proportion of 
its pleasure-seekers would not dare to be 
eighteen hours distant from New York, as 
they must be at Bar Harbor, until our 
means of getting about shall be singularly 

Then there are not the opportunities 
for display of riches and for social compe- 
tition which already exist at Newport. 
The villas and cottages are scattered and 
isolated ; there is no convenient central 
point of general meeting, and the roads 
are too hilly for any but light American 
carriages. Some victorias manage to trun- 


die about, but the horses which draw them, Bar 
or hold back their weight, look tar from 
comfortable, and although occasional 
coaches have made a brief appearance they 
have not been a success, as on most of 
the thickly wooded roads their passen- 
gers are in danger of the fate of Absa- 
lom. There is an Ocean Drive which 
is fine in parts, and another road runs 
above the upper bay, seeming in some 
places to overhang the water, and afford- 
ing a charming view of the Gouldsboro' 
hills on the mainland ; but on the whole 
there are few roads. There is no turf on 
which to ride, and the pleasure of keeping 
horses, except as a convenient means of 
getting from one place to another, is lim- 

But there is always the sea, and to that 
one comes back with a love that is ever 
new. Men who know what thev are talk- 
ing, about say that Frenchman's Bay is apt 
to be dangerous for small craft, on account 
of the sudden squalls which come over the 
hills and drop on the water like the slap of 


Bar a tiger's paw, and it would certainly be 
hard to find a place in which there can be 
at the same time such an amiable diversity 
of winds. It is not at all uncommon to 
see two schooners within a couple of miles 
of each other, both running close-hauled 
or both before the wind, but on the same 
tack and in opposite directions. 

Another experience, familiar but always 
trying, consists in starting with a light but 
steady southeast breeze which feels as if it 
would hold through the morning, but 
which drops out suddenly and completely 
within half an hour, leaving one bobbing 
and broiling in a flat calm, until, without 
warning, it begins to blow hard from some 
point of the west. Sometimes there is 
a good sailing breeze at night when the 
moon is near the full, and to be on the 
water then is an enchantment. The glis- 
tening wake has here and here a shining 
point of phosphorescence ; the familiar 
lines of the islands are softened with a 
silver haze ; and the whole scene has a 
certain poetic quality which the positive 

hcautv of d:ivli(j^hr cannot lend to i"t. One ^^'- 
is reminded ot a woman of the world 
whom one has known as always sure of 
herself and almost hard, until in a moment 
of weariness, of weakness, or of sadness, of 
fatigue or despondency, the gentler nature 
gHmmers under the mask. 

Entirely apart from the question of ex- 
ercise nothing perhaps affords such lasting 
amusement at Bar Harbor as rowing, for it 
rarely blows so hard that one cannot get 
out, and one is independent of calms and 
master of one's own time. All along the 
shore the granite rocks come down to the 
edge of the water, which in many places 
lies deep under sheer cliffs. The tide 
rises and falls about a dozen feet, and one 
may do duller things on a hot morning 
than pull slowly, very slowly, along in the 
shade at half-tide, watching the starfish 
that hold on to the face of the rock with 
their red hands, and the brown weed rising 
and falling as the water swinges slowly back 
and forth. If the tide is not too hicrh one 
may explore the moderately thrilling re- 

^^^ cesses of the caves which abound on some 
of the islands, and if the hour is not too 
late one may have agreeable converse with 
some old gentleman who has been visiting 
his lobster pots, and who has probably 
sailed every known sea in his time. Of 
late years several of our ships of war have 
been at Bar Harbor every summer, and 
more than once a whole squadron ; and 
the yachts of the New York and Eastern 
Clubs put in either separately or in little 
parties. While they are in port the har- 
bor is gay with bunting and laughter and 
music, and as one sits on the deck of a 
yacht in the evening the lights of the vil- 
lage, as they go straggling up the hill and 
along the shore, have a very foreign look, 
and the cardboard masses of its wooden 
hotels loom up as if they were really sub- 
stantial habitations. 

After being a few days at Bar Harbor 
one begins to feel some curiosity about the 
phases through which it must have passed. 
There are now a number of cottages, most 
of them simple, with here and there a few 


that are more elaborate, and about a dozen Bar 
hotels, three or four of which seem to be 
always full and prosperous, while some 
others find it at least worth their while to 
keep open ; but there are still others 
which have frankly given up the game, 
and are permanently closed and for sale, 
though no one seems anxious to buy 
them. Yet they must have been needed 
when they were built in the by-gone days, 
which were not long ago, and after ex- 
hausting a friend or two with questions 
one learns that Bar Harbor already has a 
past which does not seem likely to repeat 

It was discovered nearly thirty years ago 
by a few artists and students roaming, like 
Dr. Syntax, in search of the picturesque, 
and most of them, if they survive, can be 
moved to rage like the heathen, even at 
the present day, by reminding them that 
they could then have bought land for a 
song by the acre where it now sells by the 
foot. A few comfort themselves with the 
reflection that they were only rich in youth 


s^'' and strength in those days, and had no 
money wherewith to buy land anywhere. 
Year by year the fame of Bar Harbor 
spread far and wide, and as one hotel be- 
came too crowded another sprang up be- 
side it, until about twelve years ago the 
place was in the full height of popularity. 
The few private houses were extremely 
simple, and nearly everybody lived either 
in the hotels or in little wooden cottages 
with no kitchens. The cottagers had to 
go to one of the hotels for their food, and 
were known as " mealers " if they were 
near enough to walk, and " hauled meal- 
ers " if they had to be collected with a 
cart. The little houses are very uncom- 
fortable, and the things to eat at the hotels 
very bad. Biscuits and preserves formed 
an appreciable part of the visitor's luggage, 
and the member of a table who could and 
would make good salad-dressing became a 
person of importance, for fresh lobsters 
and stringy chickens could be bought 
cheap, and a judicious regular subsidy to 
the hotel cook was an excellent invest- 

ment. If one was asked to dine at a pri- ^'"' 

hi 1 1 lljrho 

ouse It was thought better taste iK^t 

to boast of it beforehand, nor to talk of it 
overmuch afterward, and the host on his 
part always expected to provide enough 
food to satisfy a crew of famished sailors. 
For several seasons men rarely wore even- 
ing dress, and such unusual occasions re- 
quired previous consultation and discus- 
sion, lest one man should seem to be more 
formal or ostentatious than the rest. This 
was among the quieter " cottage colony," 
but at the large hotels, of which Rodick's 
was the most popular, there was little ques- 
tion of sumptuary laws, and at the occa- 
sional " hops " young fellows in flannels 
and knickerbockers were the partners of 
pretty girls gay in the fresh finery which a 
woman seems able always to carry in the 
most restricted luggage. 

The principal characteristic of the place 
was an air of youth — it did not seem as if 
any one could ever be more than twenty- 
five years old. Parties of half a dozen 
girls were often under the nominal care ot 


Bar one chaperon, generally chosen because 
Harbor ^j^^ ^^^ good naturcd and not too strict, 
but as a matter of fact the young people 
protected themselves and one another. 
Large picnic parties frequently went off 
for the day in buckboards, and there is a 
lonely sheet of water among the hills, 
called Eagle Lake, which used to be a 
favorite goal for afternoon expeditions. 
There were canoes and row-boats to be 
had, and in the evening supper was ob- 
tainable, and better than in the Bar Harbor 
hotels, at a little tavern where the prohibi- 
tion laws of the State were defied. The 
usual result followed, and very bad things 
to drink were sold at very high prices, after 
paying which the party came home, mak- 
ing the wood-roads ring with laughter and 

That is all changed now. The tavern 
is burnt down, a great wooden box in the 
lake marks the sluice which takes the vil- 
lage water-supply, people only cross it on 
the way to Jordan's Pond, and on moon- 
light nights it hears but the occasional 



^ % 

splash of a fish, or now and then the wild 
laughter of the loon. Although parties 
were popular enough, the pairs who hap- 
pened to have a temporary affinity were 
generally in each other's company all day 
long, wandering over the hills, rowing or 
paddling on the bay, or sitting on the 
rocks and islands, each pair out of ear- 
shot of the next. On any one of the 
" Porcupines" there were always sure to 
be two or three row-boats or canoes drawn 
up on the little beach; and, as many of 
their navigators were not used to so high 
a tide-rise, the skiffs frequently floated off, 
and it was part of the boatmen's regular 
business to pick them up and rescue the 
helpless couples to whom they belonged. 

In the evenings when there was moon- 
light the sight on the bay was really charm- 
ing. The meal called tea at the hotels 
tempted no one to linger over it, and as 
soon as it was over the board-walk was 
alive with boys and girls hurrying down 
to the landing-stages, the young man in 
light flannels, sunburnt and strong, with 




his companion's bright shawl flung over 
one shoulder, while the maiden pattered 
along beside him, her white frock drawn 
up over a gay striped petticoat, after the 
fashion of those days, and often her own 
special paddle in her hand, perhaps with 
her initials carved carefully thereon and 
filled in with sealing-wax, rubbed smooth. 
Then there was a scramble at the floats, 
and a few minutes later the harbor was 
covered with boats and canoes, while those 
who were crowded out consoled themselves 
by sitting on the rocks along the shore. 
Slowly each little craft drew away from its 
neighbor on the quiet water, the young 
man pulling lazily or wielding the paddle 
silently with sweeping strokes of his bare 
brown arm — the girl sitting luxuriously in 
the stern-sheets, or on a deer-skin in the 
bottom of the canoe. The sun went down 
toward Hull's Cove ; and as the red glow 
faded on the upper bay and the moon 
rose behind Schoodie, twilight merging into 
moonlight, the rippling note of a girl's 
laughter or the twang of a banjo rang 


softly over the water, a white speck showed Bar 
where a boat was beached on the shingle of 
an island, while another floated like a black 
bar into the silver wake of the moon. 

Late in the evening the boats came in, 
one bv one, and for those who could 
afford it there were little supper-parties at 
Sproul's restaurant, while others contented 
themselves with mild orgies of biscuits, 
jam, and the sticky but sustaining caramel. 
The famous " fish-pond " at Rodick's was 
a large hall in which the young people 
used to assemble after breakfast and the 
early dinner, and in which the girls were 
supposed to angle for their escorts. It 
must have been a curious sight. Some of 
the prettiest girls in all the country were 
gathered together there, and the soft vowels 
of the South mingled with the decided con- 
sonants of the Westerner, x-ls a school of 
manners the fish-pond had its drawbacks 
for young men. They were always rather 
in the minority, and a good-looking college 
boy was as much run after as a marriage- 
able British peer, with no ulterior designs, 


B^>' however, on the part of his pursuers, but 
^^"^ "'' only the frank determination to "have a 
good time." People who belonged to the 
elders even then, and bore the mark of the 
frump, still tell how startling it was to see 
a youth sitting on the broad counter of the 
office and swinging his legs, with his polo 
cap on the back of his head, while two of 
the prettiest girls in the world stood and 
talked to him, in smiling unconsciousness 
of his rudeness. 

Of course such conditions were only 
possible in a society which still had tradi- 
tions of a time not ver^^ remote, when boys 
and girls had tramped to and from the vil- 
lage meeting-house and singing-school to- 
gether, and on the whole it does not seem 
that any particular harm came of it ail. 
A few imprudent early marriages, a large 
number of short-lived betrothals, kisses 
many, and here and there a heartache 
would sum up the record of a summer at 
Bar Harbor in the old days. The young 
men got over their heartaches and married 
girls whom they would have thought slow 


at Mount Desert; the beautv of the board Bjr 
walk married a quiet man who had not 
been there, and advised her mother not to 
let her younger sister go, and after a while 
the newspaper correspondent beo^an to ac- 
cumulate the stock of stories about sum- 
mer o;irls and eng;aCTement rino;s, on which 
he has been drawing ever since. 

The quiet people who liked the climate 
got tired of living on fried fish and lemon 
pie, and built themselves houses in chosen 
spots, with kitchens, and each of them is 
convinced, and ready to maintain, that he 
occupies the most thoroughlv desirable 
spot on the island. Fortunatelv, so far as 
that is concerned, the wanderer is not 
called upon to decide where owners dis- 
agree, and with happy impartiality he mav 
put away his visit, with all its associations, 
in the sate cupboard of his pleasant mem- 






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AUG2 773-iAfil 

0. i 19743 <: 

jECTJ a^ ^"^ 

WR* St'fK 

LD 21A-40in-2,'69 
<J6067sl0)476 — A-32 

General Library 

University of California 


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